Gimme Lobby bites the hand that feeds it,
while its ally is guilty of campaign violations

Associated Press
Monday, September 18, 2000

Low-income residents to get heating oil help

BOSTON (AP) Low-income state residents will receive $5 million in leftover federal money to help pay for heating oil this winter, Gov. Paul Cellucci's office said Monday.

The money was left over from last year when the federal government approved emergency money too late in the winter for it to be fully spent, the governor's office said.

Twenty-two nonprofit agencies around the state will distribute the money to people who earn less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level, about $34,100 for a family of four.

In total, the federal government approved about $71 million in energy assistance for low-income Massachusetts residents last year.

Again, they bite the hand that feeds them

TEAM and the teachers union hope to deprive us of the means to pay our mounting heating bills ourselves, which we could do simply by rolling back the 11-year old "temporary" income tax increase.

If the Gimme Lobby succeeds, we can instead go on bended knee to a "non-profit" administrator of a federal heating oil subsidy program, likely an opponent of Question 4!

We first caught this scheme in the Springfield Union News-Sunday Republican report, thanks to a quote by Meredith Linquist, a spokeswoman for the Valley Opportunity Council. The Council has publicly endorsed TEAM's campaign to Keep the Broken Promise Broken.

This turned out to be only the tip of the iceberg.

The Valley Opportunity Council is getting $331,690 of that $5 million; Community Teamwork, Inc., $292,585; Lynn Economic Opportunity, Inc., $123,240; Quincy Community Action Programs, Inc., $110,910; South Shore Community Action Council, $317,350.

All are conduits of taxpayers' money ... and all have endorsed TEAM's campaign to Keep the Broken Promise Broken.

If you keep checking our "Promise Breakers" list, you'll likely find the rest there sooner or later. We update it regularly, courtesy of TEAM's Chris Condon. (He feeds us this information and must believe that it somehow helps them to identify a large number of people and organizations lacking of integrity or intelligence that say and do anything to rob us taxpayers of as much as they can. It's good to know who and where they are, so we can better keep our eye on them like this! )

One more reason to vote "Yes!" on Question 4:  Use your savings from the promised tax rollback to heat your home and keep your family warm. Provide yourself with the means to pay for it and owe nobody.

Roll back the "temporary" income tax increase, keep your money, and maintain your dignity and self-reliance.

* * *

Another TEAM ally and opponent of Question 4 took a big hit yesterday. The National Association of Government Employees (NAGE) pleaded guilty to several violations of campaign finance laws after the state Office of Campaign & Political Finance found violations in four major categories. NAGE agreed to pay a $30,000 penalty -- the highest ever imposed. (Report below)

* * *

Today's final item: Boston Globe columnist Joan Vennochi today admitted ("Why I might vote for state rollback") that even she might -- might, mind you -- vote yes on Question 4, to keep the promise!

Chip Ford

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Executive Department

Monday, September 18, 2000

Contact: John Birtwell
Shawn Feddeman
(617) 727-2759
Phil Hailer
(617) 727-7765 x122

Cellucci, Swift announce $5 million
in fuel relief for families

Governor Paul Cellucci and Lieutenant Governor Jane Swift today announced the release of $5 million in emergency low-income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funds to help low-income families prepare for the upcoming winter months.

"Last year's unexpected rise in heating oil prices created a crisis for many families in our state. This year, with low oil inventories and the average price of heating oil already running above last year's level, the situation may be even worse," said Cellucci. "We are pleased to release additional funds right now to help low-income families prepare early for the winter season."

"Last winter, cold weather, low inventories and rising oil prices forced many homeowners to make difficult choices between buying groceries or paying heating bills," said Swift. "We are trying to prevent the families of Massachusetts from having to make the same tough choices this winter."

The funds released today were left over from last year when the federal government approved emergency LIHEAP funding too late in the winter season for it to be fully spent. The funds will be distributed statewide to 22 regional non-profit providers by the end of this month.

The LIHEAP program, administered by the state Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), provides fuel assistance to low-income people with annual incomes up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level or $34,100 for a family of four. Depending on income levels, current benefits range from $125 to $460 per year. Last year, the Cellucci-Swift Administration assisted more than 114,000 Massachusetts households through this program. The number of households that will be helped this year is expected to increase by at least 2,000.

In addition to the $5 million announced today, the Administration will also release the regular annual federal LIHEAP allotment to the 22 providers after October. The amount has not yet been finalized, but the initial award received in 1999, was $44.9 million before an additional $26.7 million in was released late in the heating season.

Prospective applicants to the LIHEAP program can call DHCD's toll-free HEATLINE at 1-800-632-8175. Callers will be referred to a regional heating assistance provider.

Cellucci and Swift have also written to President Clinton, urging him to approve the early release of contingency LIHEAP funds so that states can distribute assistance to the most needy households at the beginning of the winter season for early fuel purchases. Cellucci and Swift have also convened the heads of several state agencies to meet regularly to develop a comprehensive plan to manage the heating oil situation during the winter months.

Scheduled Allocation of $5 million in LIHEAP Funds:

Action for Boston Community Development: (ABCD):  $499,950
Action, Inc. (Gloucester):  $50,960
Berkshire Community Action Council, Inc. (Pittsfield):  $194,315
Community Action, Inc. (Haverhill):  $104,615
City of Cambridge Dept. of Human Services (Cambridge/Somerville):  **$61,120
Community Action Programs Inter-City, Inc. (Chelsea):  $129,135
Citizens for Citizens, Inc. (Fall River):  $408,935
Community Teamwork, Inc. (Lowell):  $292,585
Franklin County Action Corporation, Inc. (Greenfield): $190,825
Greater Lawrence Community Action Council (Lawrence):  $237,655
Lynn Economic Opportunity, Inc. (Lynn):  $123,240
New England Farm Workers Council, Inc. (Fitchburg/Gardner):  $216,015
New England Farm Workers Council, Inc. (Springfield):  $288,540
North Shore Community Action Program, Inc. (Peabody):  $110,535
People Acting in Community Endeavors, Inc. (New Bedford):  $341,930
Quincy Community Action Programs, Inc. (Quincy):  $110,910
Self Help, Inc. (Avon):  $365,075
South Middlesex Opportunity Council, Inc. (Framingham):  $133,605
South Shore Community Action Council (Plymouth):  $317,350
Tri-City Community Action Program, Inc. (Malden):  $144,630
Valley Opportunity Council, Inc. (Holyoke):  $331,690
Worcester Community, Action Council, Inc. (Worcester):  $346,385

** The Cambridge Economic Opportunity Committee, Inc., the Cambridge Health Alliance, and many City of Cambridge elected officials have endorsed TEAM's campaign to keep the broken promise broken -- as would be expected in the Peoples' Republic.

The Boston Globe
Tuesday, September 19, 2000

Union to pay $30,000 for violations
By Regina Montague
Globe Correspondent

One of the largest government-employees unions in Massachusetts yesterday agreed to pay the state $30,000 in fines for violating campaign-finance laws -- the highest penalty that the state Office of Campaign and Political Finance has ever levied.

In agreeing to the fine, the National Association of Governmental Employees, known as NAGE, admitted that for three years it gave three times the allowed contribution to some candidates and improperly deducted political contributions from employees' paychecks.

The penalty resulted from a year-long investigation of the union, which represents about 12,000 state employees.

Three Massachusetts political action committees under the umbrella of NAGE, headquartered in Quincy, violated the law by comingling funds received from members and contributing a total of $69,850 more than the law allows to political campaigns in 1997, 1998, and 1999.

NAGE automatically deducted 50 cents from its members' paychecks each week during those years, said Denis Kennedy, a spokesman for the Office of Campaign and Political Finance, which conducted the investigation.

The deductions, which employees could stop only by making an explicit request, stopped recently.

Investigators concluded that 65 candidates received contributions from NAGE well in excess of the $500 annual limit per candidate. The list includes state Auditor Joseph DeNucci and state Treasurer Shannon P. O'Brien.

NOTE: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, this material is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to:

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